Snapchat has introduced a new feature called “Dreams” to its app, which utilizes generative AI to transform users’ selfies into fantastical images that create new personas. Dreams can be found in the app’s “memories” section and prompts users to take selfies from various angles. Based on themes like “time travel” and “alternate universes,” the app generates a series of eight images. Snapchat plans to extend this feature to include friends’ likenesses as well.
Dreams is the latest experiment by Snapchat using generative AI. Earlier this year, the company launched its MyAI chatbot, developed with the help of open source tools and internal data from partners (although specific details about the partners have not been disclosed). This feature demonstrates how Snapchat capitalizes on consumer interest in the technology to generate revenue. Initially, the MyAI chatbot was exclusive to Snapchat+ premium subscribers, but it was eventually made available to all users. Subscribers now have exclusive features, such as the ability for MyAI to reply to photo Snaps with its own generated responses.
Similarly, Dreams will have a free and paid component. Non-Snapchat+ users can access one pack of eight selfies, while subscribers will gain access to one pack per month. To keep the feature dynamic, Snapchat plans to update Dreams regularly with new themes and styles. Additionally, users will have the option to purchase additional packs through an in-app purchase of $0.99.
In terms of image quality, Dreams exhibits some similarities to other AI-based image generators, as it may occasionally produce artifacts. For instance, a promotional image shared by Snap featured partial fingers oddly placed over the subject’s chest. When I experimented with Dreams to create my own AI selfies, some of the resulting images showcased strange-looking hands. However, the feature managed to portray the correct number of fingers in an anatomically accurate position.
Despite these minor flaws, Dreams has the potential to keep Snapchat users engaged. With over 10 billion messages sent collectively to MyAI, Snapchat users have shown interest in AI-based features. Moreover, as platforms like Midjourney have discontinued free trials due to abuse, Snapchat’s offerings may seem like a more appealing option for those eager to explore generative AI technology.
Snapchat aims to continually enhance user experience by merging AI technology with its app. The Dreams feature adds a touch of creativity and excitement to conventional selfies, allowing users to transform into unique personas. By leveraging generative AI, Snapchat keeps users entertained and offers something new and intriguing. As the company expands its AI offerings, it will likely attract more users and create additional revenue streams.